Preetam Raj

Medical Tourism is on high roll these days.  We were no expectation, so my mum is sick and we had packed our bags to set trails to Apollo. To be honest, my mum is a kind of a cranky and complaining woman. And when i say this, half of the Indian population gets a chance to relate such features for their mother. 

Day1: Ghy-Delhi, Jasola We landed at exactly 6:40pm and Uber was the most convenient option in hand. On our way to our hotel, the journey which was 22kms away from the Airport Terminal, in a place called Jasola was meant to be peaceful was basically split down into two of my mum's primitive complains... 'there's so much of crowd and traffic’ and 'why is the place so lonely, i don't trust the driver'. Now i have no idea how many number of ’Crime Patrol' episode is enough to implant the basic idea of rape in their minds.
Anyway, First Night at the hotel, Hotel Kundan Palace, Believe me  when i say this, If rape issues and being sexually abused doesn't scare u, the water will definitely scare the living shit outta you. It basically is the only thing that will be a major cause for your mutation. Delhi what's next, You learn to crawl walls? the salty taste of it, even the idea of it is hard to gulp down.  Now imagine the next morning brush session.

Day 2: Jasola Apollo,Jasola:The next day was mostly spent among the sick and the sickness,  Apollo Hospital, The place we stayed, was nearby the hospital for the  sake of convenience. In the course of time I saw many foreigners in the same floor as ours,which was amazing.  You do remember the concept of Medical Tourism right? otherwise why would they settle for a place like Jasola, where the only point of attraction is a Fat Bihari guy selling ‘garam garam jalebi’.
This is my effort for an extention to significantly define what kind of the place is Jasola.  The setting is of somewhat an old village,narrow lanes,women peeping over the balcony, as if every other guy was born with the sole intention of judging you.Although the people of Jasola don’t restrict themselves from having thrills in their lives. They have this public vehicle,Imagine a motorcycle and a rickshaw going to a sick-ass party, they eventually get drunk and get laid,what you get after 9 months is called a ‘Tuk Tuk’. Imagine Mad-Max series,coming to life,where people as savages compete each other over the dusty tracks of Delhi,In vehicles which runs over batteries, because let’s be honest,Delhi is concerned about population… Did I say population? I certainly meant pollution…
The day 2 ended with me accompanying mum with the 'Shopping for family' session. Did i mention my mother is sick, and it’s difficult for her to walk? We took a metro from Jasola to LajpatNagar, which is apparently 5-6 stations away.We meet all sort of people in Metro, maybe one morning, you get to encounter a person,by the evening he is flashed into breaking news as a serial killer. So basically it is a land of opportunities.In my case I met the worst type of body shammer in the history, if someone body shams you over your facebook wall,you will still consider yourself lucky, because I got body shammed inside a Metro, by two “who-the-fucks”. It started from the person, who looked around his 30s, left me a seat. Now as a courtesy I smiled to him as a sign of  gratitude,that was the point it all started… “Bhai aap na bohot jyada mote ho, kuch karo iss charbi ka, Mujhe dekho, Lagta nai hu, par mein do laundo ka baap hu…” the opinion of the stranger was seconded by the old fella sitting next to him giving one word opinion from his side, “Kasraat”:the secret behind his ripped abs. Towards the end he just says out loud, “Bhai, Saandh ko na, laundiya nai milti”,that was the point where the two passengers sitting opposite to me break into laughter. Metro ride sure is a lot of fun. In Lajpatnagar my mother,she revolved the whole market, four freaking times. In the streets of Lajpatnagar, there are old folks, who yell out and address the passersby to check out their stall for once. I especially noticed this one guy, mid 60s, sitting just outside his own stall, addressed my mum for the first time, "Behenji, aa jao, bohot samaan he", on the second time around his same stall, the words were somewhat identical, "Behenji, ek baar ghus jaeye, saare samaan he humare paas". By the time we revolved the third time, he just said "arey behenji, iss baar toh ghus jao".

Day 3:Jasola to Central Secretariat:I was to meet a friend of mine in Central Secretariat which was around 30mins away from our hotel. Fare is around 36 rupees. Since the guy was coming along with his girlfriend, I insisted my mother on staying back over Bus-Stand. So I met him at Gate 2. By the time I returned, I saw a lady, over the Bus-Stand, weeping and complaining about how I left a helpless woman in an unknown place like Delhi. I tell you this, nothing is as humiliating as standing there as some decorated abusive son, who literally tortured his sick mother. Well that’s what the other people over there interpreted the event as.
We then took a Metro, following the Yellow line to the Chandni Chowk. Wow, that place, it’s like all the hells are set loose. The rush there is unparallel to anything I have witnessed so far, And the worst part, it was still Saturday. The streets of Chandni Chowk, is flooded with cars, rickshaws, people, and whatnot. Evidently within the distance from Metro Station to Red Fort(around 600-700m), our rickshaw hit two people and was rammed constantly by the rickshaw behind us just to give us a head-start. Now Delhi can’t afford paragliding or skiing, or trekking for a change, but if you wanna risk everything, hire a rickshaw and whisper these three magical words to them, “Bhaiya, Jaldi Karo”… The defining moment of your life is just an inch away. From Chandni Chowk we went to Sarojini Nagar Market, via INA Metro Station. The market was recommended by a person, Amlan(Fuck you Amlan).
If you ever wondered what exactly a hostile marketing strategy is, I strongly recommend you to visit Sarojini Market, a place where 'no' is not an option they consider. As soon as we reached the market, i was surrounded by a 3 member gang, whose sole intention was to sell me socks,shades and wallet, all at once. Unfortunately, they weren't there for a 'no'... One of the guy asked me to remove my glasses and as i did, he just tossed one of his many shades saying, "Dekho bhai, kya jach raha he..." when i refused the offer, he misinterpreted it as a bargain and started lowering his price. At one point i said,"Bhaiya, mujhe nai chahiye",to that he replied, "Kese nai chahiye, free ka hota toh zaroor leke jaate". 

Day 4:Jasola to Airport: The flight timing was at 1340 hours. But my mother lived with the idea of, “Better reach before than to be Late”. In this situation, ‘before’ meant 3 hours roughly.Inside the Airport, 3 hours is a long stretch, so eventually my mother got tired and sleepy and asked for a coffee.NOTE:Give your mother anything but an espresso. Imagine a complaining women, who is complaining about her coffee for the next two hours and ten mins because she can’t sleep after that strong ‘shot’ of caffeine. That’s certainly not a good picture.

Here I am back to Guwahati again. If I say that my weekend at Delhi was ‘good’, that would be an oversimplification of the series of events. I won’t term it ‘bad’ either. It just insisted me enough to draft a slot over my blog.

Chandni Chowk,Old Delhi

Brave, who exactly is a brave person? The ones which are being portrayed in the movies with their beyond-human will power, or the ones jumping buildings,fighting bulls etc?
I changed my own perception towards the definition of bravery after the sequence of event that were being followed for last two days. One of my classmate, and also my former lab partner’s elder brother passed away. Tragic incident, people usually breakdown under these situations, but this guy what standing out of all the ordinaries.
Today when I went for the exam, I saw him sitting, preparing himself for the test as well. When I asked him what is he doing here, shouldn’t he be at home, supporting his parents through tough times like this. What shook me was his answer. This kid isn’t among the smart blokes from our college, a guy who barely passes out and makes to the end semester exams. And the same person told me, “My brother is gone and he is not coming back, and my parents sent me here , I don’t see any reason of going back now.” He did not flicker, did not cry. And for the moment left me there, spellbound.
Now while reading this you might as well can relate to many people, people fighting cancer and attending exams, great personalities and their struggle. But how many of them did you actually meet. This guy sure wasn’t great.
I take this opportunity of knowing human emotions, how strong and weak they are at times, how a human life can inspire other. Now there sure will be hard times for him as well as me and anyone for that matter and we will question our faith once again. But today, for the moment I feel lucky to be there asking him the exact question and hear him out. It has created a dent in my life.
There are tough times, things fails. But there is a saying, “Pain is inevitable , But the suffering is optional”. Thank you Parmod Kumar Shresta, sure our prayers will always with you, but you are beyond any need of one. You’re literally above it.

The following context is related to a friend of mine, Shivam Sharma. In a recent tragic incident, we lost him and few of our dearest friends. This is a way of remembrance and homage to his everlasting soul.

Accidents, this word is absurd. Somehow we all see it coming. But the helpless of our own self to act is rather termed as accidents. I saw the wrong turn and I surely knew it was way too late to act it out, to defend ourselves. What do we do for the remaining seconds of our lives before it snaps right through the silent spaces of cosmic warfare. Did we repent? Were we filled with regret and remorse? There is never enough time to think it through, my actions and what I needed to change. The least in my worries were the fact if this was it? If this could kill us all? My heart raced and the nerves would flush off the legit amount of alcohol, maybe I was immune to the booze for the while. For the next few seconds, things didn’t move in a slow motion but we were numb to depict the basic response. Screeched tires, broken glasses, chaos and stench of the blood. I have seen it all. Maybe the impact was tremendous. The sound of it scares the most. It numbs the senses, makes you devoid of any pain but the fear itself.
We did hit the ground, smashed glasses and wrecked seats. How bad can it be? Maybe we did make out of it, Maybe this was the lesson we can use to change all our lives forever. Somehow I just wish to be back home, with my family. I just wish to feel safe now. The cold streets won’t do the same. Neither will the gushed out blood stretching infinitely covering the uneven surface of the road, emptying myself from inside. At this moment I don’t exactly know if my friends can hear me, I’m not even sure if I can hear myself. The dried blood over my face is stretches the skin as if it could hurt any less. This is the exact moment when I realize the pain. Its like literally ripping off my consciousness from my body. The dire thirst of moving by an inch seems like a death wish. So I gave up on trying. Slowly as it may seem. The pain faded, and so did the mere consciousness. The body drenched into the lucid state where I can almost feel the gruesome torture suffered by my body but I am helpless enough to fight it. Dazed off by the lights of passing vehicles. Each one seemed like angel of oblivion for the rescue, yet no one stopped by. Maybe they didn’t care. Maybe we couldn’t care anymore than them.
Is it a torture when you’re dying. I don’t know, I have seen people dying. Where they blissfully breathe out their last sigh. But it certainly wasn’t my case. I awaited, trembling  till the motions halted, only when I was out of breath… forever

photo courtesy: Arup Jyoti Boro
(every year there are hundreds of people dying due to drinking and driving. Please be responsible, we lost our closest of friend. Maybe you are a part of someone’s family as well.)

There are very few times when a person actually judge you exactly the way you want yourself to be judged, an ordinary kid. But unfortunately most of the time the definition of being ordinary is overrated or somehow underrated. The following story is about a boy being obvious throughout his life.

How can you possibly blame Raj, when all your parents ever dream of is seeing you at the top of everything you can possibly lay your eyes upon. And certainly the ABCD won't possibly be a better judgement to make you a genius or a dumb guy. But for Raj's parents, he can do anything that is humanly possible for others. So somehow he actually thought he was pretty special somehow. Be it academics or rather his creativity, the believed that he will outdo everyone. Its always blissful to live your three-fold Utopian dream, only if his teachers would share the same belief as his parents. Its often very difficult for a person to convince himself he is of any worth or not. Because somehow in the end of the day, you will always ignore the dark side of yourself to see the good in you, and somehow every last one of us still think we are good inside. Raj's teachers considered him as a complete waste. He wasn't the topper of the class by the time he reached his class x and certainly not the teacher's favorite. It filled him with sheer disappointment. But with time the disappointment faded away with the acceptance of the fact that maybe he isn't smart after all. He eventually gave up on trying to be good in his studies. 

Raj always thought he would make a better artist than a scholar and in many ways it was somehow true. He made incredible cartoons and pretty good compared to many others. In his spare time he used to make cartoons of his teachers, sometimes resembling them well enough and sometimes it was bluntly accurate. But what actually scared him was the fact what if he wasn't good enough. What if he was a waste after all. The primal fear grew into a continuous refusal to every opportunity he recieved to make himself useful. The hopes of his parents were let down and they expected the very least from him.At this situation, he actually believed everyone around him rather than believing in himself. You can't blame him. The disappointment hit him hard and he gave up on his own life. The defeat is not always the real problem, rather its the fear of the defeat that breaks a person. Slowly he started to avoid people, he assumed that they won't understand what he was going through. With every passing day, he expected the least from the world around him, who literally doesn't give a fuck to his existence.

 Dreams are better off Dreams until they haunt you back to your own damned reality. And that alone push you right back to the pit of ordinary people trying and hoping to be exception but miserably failing. And that was the same for Raj as well, his very own curse of being an obvious.

“Clean the rooms and bring your daughter in the evening, its our sons birthday today.”

But she never needed a reminder for such big event, the girls eagerly wait for their mothers arrival. Their father won’t be home till late, summers are long, so is the time of somewhat decent income. When bodies dies young, he drinks to his throat and lie lifeless over the plank. The three girls were asked to come a bit late as their mother needs to do some more chores for the hand that literally feeds them. They are all dressed, dressed in their frocks, devoid of looking pretty, and certainly resembling who they are apart from what they do wear. The dress almost cost their father a fortune and so they never do wish to wear it unless its always Durga Puja. As they tip toe over the slimy tracks, away from their home, they held each other’s hand and walked to the place they do aspire to go always. They drive down their memory lane to remember what they did witness the last time, the boy playing over his computer, the huge television drilled to the wall almost covering it, the dining table laden with fruits… and now they are hoping to get a glimpse of all of it one more time. As they nearly approached the place, they see a trail of halted cars, fainted buzzing of people. A little insecure, yet they strived to move forward. The elder one, hesitated but she knows she has to act brave for the rest two while the youngest one is simply leaping front. Once they get in, their search for their mum begins, knowing that she will be easily recognized, their eyes gazed through the unmounted crowd, tall people talking and laughing, kids playing around and evidently not running around, they finally saw their mother with the host herself. ‘The madam is a kind one’, one whispered in the back of her head. Indeed she was, she let them sit among the rest of the children present there. The girls simply didn’t disappoint the fair lady, and they slowly trailed away like the ducklings in a row. The corner place is the place they are suited the most, observant yet silent, they were looking at the kids playing with the gadgets they don’t witness too easy. It was then, they did spot the birthday boy, shinning off amongst the others, but they don’t talk… perhaps it’s the obvious strike of hesitation and the shy nature. The daughters tried their best to act and merge into the crowd, but their faces does tell the story. Although unlike any mainstream Bollywood movie depicting the lives of poor, they weren’t publicly humiliated or were brought remotely close to it, But its their genuine fright. The meal was served and with every wrong twerk of their hands, the slipping of their forks, the fear goes shrugging through their spine, no one wants to be made fun of… Meal was amazing, appreciated by many, but they know how good their mother cooks. Some serious occasions and they were rewarded by her delightful dishes. Everyone were seated, after filling themselves up, but these three young ones knew, it wasn’t their place to be anymore. So they met their mother and also the Generous Lady to make them aware of it and silently retreated. As they walk under the hazy moonlight yet again, flooded roads and narrow lanes. People looking at their bright dress and somewhat predicting what was the cause, they lingered through the mass of gut-filled drunk people, hoping to see their dad but maybe he went early. Once they reached their own thatch, no matter how much a tiny bulb lighten their nights, its always a lot warmer than the place they came from. Their mother will be late tonight and they did find their father laying almost lifelessly, just breathing. It was time for sleep, so they got back to their normal clothing, or the remaining bit of it, as they slowly inspected their frocks, almost looking new, this day was burnt deep like a map inside their heads. “Another year on the leap”.

source: Google Images
The boy with megapixels...

...And he seemed a bit disappointed by the simple fact of life, well he had his reasons, as I asked him to publish his remarkable photographs to someone professional. He smiled back and uttered words in most simple way possible, as if I am really clueless of what is actually happening around me, he said "Arey yaar, DSLR kharidne ke liye paisa nai hein".This post is about a boy named Arup, well certainly he is my friend , but whats intriguing about this boy is his abilities to capture his imaginations throughout a smooth digital screen, embedding life in it. Being totally unaware of the photographic aspects or rather knowing anything at all about professional photography, Arups takes his tiny smarthphone, remotely hesitated and he happens to take pictures of anything so far yet alive. I won't say 'capturing' someone's emotions, rather he embraces it.This being my first post in the blog, I wish to start off with his story. Arup happens to be yet another common guy you might as well find in your byelanes, so the story might as well be very relative. Arup isn't a rich bloke, and certainly the reason why I am writing about him. You must've got a new phone recently and you sure as well are very excited. You take a few pictures and then the things slowly fades away from being interesting to being obvious. But it certainly wasn't the case of Arup. spending almost an eternity he received his first smartphone, certainly not a bulky matter loaded with countless features but he happens to see it as the only way to be what he really is. Going over the places taking random pictures through his cellphone while people get suspicious. But Arup didn't mind fighting through judgmental thoughts about him. "useless", "jobless" "waste of time"... these words would rather shatter all the hope left in us, but he outgrew them, maybe that's exactly what happens when u rise from shreds, you don't lose anything. But everything certainly doesn't work out the way one plans it to be. One day, on his  way back, his dreams grabbed hands of a wrong fate. He slipped away and dropped his phone, quite obvious for any other person reading this, and you might just as well think "so what, get it fixed" but that was the very problem of not being abundantly rich. You can't fix things then. And when I heard the following event, I did wish to help him, but the urge slowly faded away. But Arup didn't give up on his dreams, not yet. Being a pass out of class xii, this kid has nowhere to find an appropriate job for himself. Yet he found a job over a packaging industry, evedently not suitable for his health but he accepted it and joined the work. So while we sleep over a stressful day in hopes of seeing a better morning, Arup happens to work his way out, throughout the night, packing the roddent repellents, with just one vivid dream in his open eyes... to fix his phone yet again and get back his life. Now this story certainly doesn't compare to many other people suffering dreadfully, but it is a reminder that every night when you wish for something, maybe ask your parents, there happens to be a kid giving up every last bit of what he has, to live his dream... or rather earn it.

.... the dream he sees from his own gloomy eyes.
photo credit: Arup Jyoti Boro.